Category Archives: The Meaning of Art

be the hero you wish would save you. from

I found a path covered in brambles. And then I lost it.

For 8 weeks.

I found a path.

It was covered in brambles.

I followed it anyways. My own art. My own challenge.

I made the time to charge through those brambles, get stuck with thorns, step through mud, and scramble up rocks.   Time that I did not have but I made anyways.

For 8 weeks.

I rehearsed for Much Ado About Nothing.  For those same 8 weeks I trained for my first Sprint Distance Triathlon.

For 8 weeks, I made myself eat enough, sleep enough, be enough.

I did not clean the house. I barely did dishes. I barely saw my child. I had just enough time to get through my day. When I felt sick, I swam anyways. When I felt tired or injured, I rehearsed anyways.

I thought it was too much.

I thought I was over-committed.

I cried and regretted and my child punished me with torrents of tears at every departure.  

A man I love told me it was okay to give up: it was okay to admit I was over-committed and to drop something.  To know I tried and couldn’t.  And it’s okay to try and then…know it’s enough.  I wept and felt relieved.  Then I woke up in the morning to realize that I could not ‘give up.’  No, no, that would be failure.  But I could be okay with doing my best.  Not the best of another.  Just my best.

So I kept on down that path and made friends with the thorns.  Their stings warning me to dance higher out of their way.  The slips on rocks reminding me to look closer and step lighter.  The caked mud simply something to put up with, or sling in delight at an unwary partner.

Then, on that one weekend, eight weeks later, I opened my show and completed my triathlon in one big rush.

And I loved it.

I looked back at those 8 weeks and I loved those too.  The tears were so minor; the fear so small.

I recovered from the race and closed my show with an impish grin, a rock hard stomach, and dreams of future triumphs.

It all ended.

And I got horribly sad.

So I stopped eating good food and started eating chocolate and drinking too much coffee.  I stopped sleeping right and found myself up at 1am for no reason other than that I couldn’t sleep.

There must be a middle.  Not a balance.  Not that damn word: balance.  But a middle.  A middle somewhere.  A path.

To find the time to create art, create physical triumph…to have time to put my child to bed and live in a tidy home.  To put it all together and not slump down in sadness when it is all over.  

When the goal has diminished to a past accomplishment: to set the new goal all over again.  The new goal that feels no greater than the last but will be even more important.

How do I do this?

Do not answer.  I do not want to hear it.  Because I know the answers.  I just do not know how to put them into practice.  My brain moves too quickly; my body moves too slowly; my heart moves in tides.

I am bowled over by paperwork; I am lost amongst the ants invading my kitchen counters; I am grown over by the weeds in my backyard; I am snowed in by bills I cannot pay.

But when I expand my back ribs in the deep inhalation of a voice about to be, when I tuck my chin and watch the line in the pool race by, when the burning of my quads forces me to engage, when I sink into the eyes of another artist, there is nothing but my body in motion.  There are no papers, no dishes, no late fees.  There is just me moving through space.

My mind is at ease.

My heart the hero you wish would save you. from

My spirit soars.

There is a path…somewhere there is a path that I will make and I will not so easily lose it this time.

to high school, with love

four years ago, i wrote this tribute to high school actors.

last night, i sat within a bunched up circle of high school actors as they graciously, articulately, poignantly, and often humorously thanked their contributors, supporters, and mentors for their work on Hamlet.

it filled my heart.

to my last tribute, i add the following:

you, as a collective, are building a better world.

there may be days when you are engrossed in your own heart, miss your cues, forget your lines, want to be anywhere but here.

but, in the end, when you come together as a supportive unit, gifting hugs and congratulating your peers, that is when you demonstrate your prowess and magnitude as young adults who are shaping this community.

i look forward to seeing how you change the world.

Mindful Theatre…coming soon to a conference near you

The Boston Theatre Conference is this February…it’s all about applying the Slow Food Movement to Theatre.  In a grande advance social media undertaking, StageSource has been posting guest blog posts for a couple of months which will continue through the conference.

Mine’s up:

It took a child to make me slow down and choose a mindful life: notice the flavors of my meals, the bumps under my feet, the tightening around the eyes as my friend launches herself into a daunting scene, the inhale through the nose of a playwright before she pitches her story.  As it turns out, I like living slowly and mindfully: seeing people and life as valuable, essential, beautiful and whole beings.

Those of us wrapped up in theatre (or, really, any non-profit sector) can forget the value of approaching each other mindfully.  We are so wrapped up in interpreting and improving the world that we lose sight of the very community in which we create.  Tech week happens at top speed with people losing sleep and eating too much pizza.  Actors miss family holidays for auditions.  Artistic Directors skip their breaks in favor of mini-meetings.  Administrators eat lunch staring at a computer screen.  Our love becomes our work, our work becomes our life, and suddenly we are losing sight of life.

You can read the whole thing at the Boston Theatre Conference Blog.

Damn Proud of our Silence

Silence garnered another review today,

The play balances comedy with rumination, and outrageous episodes (magic mushrooms for dinner, anyone?) with a formality of construction that makes for solid theater.

GAN-e-meed, working with a shoestring, pulls off a production that is rich with imagination and talent.

This production successfully realizes the comic and dramatic aspects of Silence, delivering a neatly told tale right along with the lingering questions we’re supposed to take home with us.

This is all stuff I’ve believed all along.  But it feels pretty damn good to see someone else put it in print.

Read the full review at EDGE Boston.

and then reserve your seats. You only have three more chances!